EE Times Silicon 60: 2015's Startups to Watch

September 17, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
It has been just over a year since EE Times produced a version15.1 of the Silicon 60.

Over that time the global economic situation has moved sideways with the United States enjoying growth but Europe and Japan generally failing to gain momentum. Meanwhile concerns about declining growth in China, which has served as an engine of the global economy, has turned into a downward slides on China's stock exchanges, which has in turn given rise to volatility in stock indices worldwide.

Entrepreneurs are not usually daunted by such comings and goings and have continued to form startup companies in the years since the crash of 2008 and some of these have or could soon enter the market.

EE Times has selected 30 of these recently-formed companies to come on to version 16.1 of its list of 60 firms that we feel are worth keeping an eye on. It may well be that these privately-held startups will be less affected than listed companies by economic turmoil in the short term and even benefit from lower interest rates and materials costs. But of course in the medium-to-longer term we all seek growth markets in which to sell our goods and services.

EE Times has been updating and publishing the Silicon 60 since April 2004 to reflect the latest corporate, commercial, technology and market conditions. The latest batch of newcomers include companies active in the fields of materials, IP cores, processors, FPGAs, neuromorphic computing, wireless for location, communications and connectivity, MEMS and image sensors and the Internet of Things.

To make way for the newcomers, 30 companies have dropped off the list. A few of those were acquired while others simply become mature with the passage of time. Those more mature companies, while no longer listed on the Silicon 60, may yet fulfil an investors' dream of moving to public ownership or going through a high-priced company sale.

The selection of the 60 companies in Silicon 60 v16.1 has been based on consideration of a mix of criteria including: technology, intended market, financial position, investment profile, maturity and executive leadership. They are emerging companies to follow – for a variety of reasons. The names of the companies brought on to the Silicon 60 at this iteration are highlighted in red in the listing below.

Readers are welcome to nominate their own emerging privately held companies for inclusion in a future iteration of the Silicon 60 list. Nominations should be supported by a short citation providing basic details about the company and explaining why the company is suitable for inclusion on the list. Send to or


Aledia SA (Grenoble, France), has developed a method of forming light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on vertical pillars of gallium-nitride grown on silicon wafers. The company span out of CEA-Leti in 2011 and claims the technique produces three times more light per planar area than conventional approaches while using less GaN material. In the last year the company has received backing from automotive supplier Valeo and furnishings supplier Ikea.

Allwinner Technology Co. Ltd. (Zhuhai, China) is a fabless chip company founded in 2007 and developing application processor SoCs and analog ICs for mobile equipment, automotive and television. 

Ambiq Micro Inc. (Austin, Texas) founded in 2010, is a fabless chip company developing low power microcontrollers and mixed-signal systems that operate at sub-threshold voltages. Investors include ARM Holdings and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.


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